GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The opioid crisis is impacting communities across Massachusetts, but Franklin County has been at the forefront of the battle.
That’s why Franklin County community members are raising awareness and money for the Recover Project- a local substance abuse support center.
Devon DeKorver struggled with opiate addiction and has used the Recover Projects – group counseling, therapy, and resources.
DeKorver said, “It’s a struggle, it’s not just over in one day. It’s a constant work for the rest of your life to learn how to live without drugs as that coping mechanism.”
DeKorver helped coordinate Saturday’s Firebird 5K-race against addiction to help reach out to others and raise funding.
Members of the Opioid Task Force and the community say that this race is just one among many contributing to the larger marathon against the opioid epidemic. While there has been more support and awareness they say that the rate of opioid overdoses has remained the same.
Opioid Task Force Director Marisa Hebble told 22News, “We are making a difference. We are not seeing a drop in our overdose numbers yet but that really speaks to how big this problem is and we can’t give up.”
Adam Mitchell, is a firefighter that helped start the Firebird 5K last year because he has seen the effects of opiate addiction too often. Mitchell said, “In the five years that I’ve been here the thing that I’ve done the most is overdoses more than anything.”
The Recover Project is also putting together recovery coaches to help others suffering from addiction.
Recover Project Director Linda Sarage said, “Stigma kills. We’re out here today to fight against the stigma which is what keeps people from recognizing that they or a family member have a problem.”
To learn more about the Recover Project and the resources they offer, click here.